When was the "GECO" tradename first used?

As most collectors know “GECO” was a tradename adopted (registered) by Gustav Genschow & Co. The earliest reference that I have for this is mention of a M1919 Geco Sporting Rifle (in a 1921 catalog). It was not shown in a 1908 Genschow catalog.

Does anyone know the exact date that Genschow adopted (and/or registered) the “GeCo” tradename ?

It seems that some registration info was lost because of WW2.
The earliest reference I found was also from 1921 (in Gerhard Bock’s book).

Gustav Genschow & Co took over the ammunition plant in Durlach in 1906.

The ‘GeCo’ brand name was re-registered in Germany in 1968.

550 Markenform MF Wort-Bildmarke
220 Anmeldetag AT 26.04.1968
442 Tag der Bekanntmachung BT 15.07.1968
151 Tag der Eintragung im Register ET 20.06.1968
156 Verlängerung der Schutzdauer VBD 01.05.2008
730 Inhaber INH RUAG Ammotec GmbH, 90765 Fürth, DE
750 Zustellanschrift ZAN Patente, Marken & Lizenzen c/o Chemetall GmbH, Trakehner Str.3, 60487 Frankfurt
510 Waren- / Dienstleistungsverzeichnis WDV Klasse(n) Nizza 13:
Munition und Geschosse, Sprengstoffe, Feuerwerkskörper

Thanks for that information Vlim. Looks like this date may be hard to establish due to the missing records ? So at least by 1919 ?

Unless someone else has anything more specific?

Don’t know if this will help, but the Gustav Genschow & Co headstamp appears on pistol ammunition, including 9mm P (very rarely-I don’t have one, hence the drawing below). The load documented in 9mm with this headstamp has a RNGM soft point bullet which means it probably dates from sometime after late 1916 into the post WWI era.


The other two Gustav Genschow & Co headstamps in 9mmP are both military.


Known dates: Feb 1915 (truncated bullet), Dec 1916 and Jan 1917 (RNCN bullet)


Known dates: Feb 1917 - Jan 1918 (all months-with RNGM bullets) and Feb, Mar & Apr 1917 (RNCN bullets) and Feb - Nov 1918 (RNCN bullets).

These dates would imply that a RNGM SP bullet would perhaps date from 1917 or perhaps be post WWI production.

I know of no dated Geco headstamps on 9mmP earlier than the 1930s.

This isn’t much help, but perhaps other Geco and GG & Co headstamps could pin it down with more accuracy.



Brad, a recent thread on Gustav Genschow reminded me that some time ago I’ve found a documented answer to this long unanswered question:

Lew, the same head stamp for 8x57.

In September 1914, Genschow start producing 8x57 M88 cartridges.



Gustav Genschow was born on 25 May 1862 and founded his company in 1887. (according to a German journal article from 1932)
His son Karl (1893-1957) took over from him.

The ammunition factory at “Karlsruhe-Durlach” (actually Wolfartsweier) was opened in 1897 and closed in 1972.
Genschow manufactured rifles in Berlin and leather goods (like the Geco pistol Holster) in Hachenburg (between Frankurt and Cologne).

Edit: Genschow & Co. took over the ammunition factory only in 1903. A letterhead of the Gustav Genschow company from 1909 does not mention “Geco”. Production of pistol cartridges started in 1908. The book by Elga Roellecke on the history of the factory gives no hint regarding first use of “Geco”.

The headstamp Lew shows is, I think, known from a single specimen in the Woodin Lab collection.

The next known headstamp on 9 mm P, the style of which appears on 9 mm Para and many other pistol calibers, was D GECO D 9m/m . However, preceding that, although I have not seen it on 9 mm Para, was the headstamp * D GG&Co D * 7.65 (the small “o” is actually raised
on the actual headstamp, and underlined. The headstamp I typed is from 7.65 mm Para.). This
headstamp style, which is commercial, appears on many different Geco pistol cartridges.

That is great info Fede. It confirms my speculation that it was as early as 1919 because there was a M1919 Geco Sporting Rifle (see first post in thread).

So we can now say that the trademark “GECO” was registered by G. Genschow in 1922 but had been used since 1919.

Here’s my updated company history on G. Genschow, collated from a number of sources including “Der Munitions-Verband”. Not all references agree on some of this info (eg when the Durlach factory was acquired) but this compilation is as accurate as I have been able to establish using the better references where possible.

The arms and ammunition business of GUSTAV GENSCHOW operated from 1887 till 1959.

Gustav Genschow (b1862-1940, see image) was a former clerk of Lindener/Egestorff. Being ambitious, he left Egestorff at the age of 25 and founded his own ammunition wholesale business in Berlin on 25 Aug 1887.

In 1890, his brother in-law William Seebach joined the business and the business name was named GUSTAV GENSCHOW & Co, Berlin. In the same year a retail store was purchased allowing both retail and wholesale trade. Their first catalog was also produced in 1890. This company eventually became one of the biggest German enterprises in the field of trade of weapons, ammunition, hunting and rifle accessories including exports.

In 1899 Genschow purchased the “Badischen Schrot und Gewehrpfropfenfabrik GmbH” (Baden Shot and Rifle Factory) in Baden which was established in 1888. In doing this they also moved into the manufacture of ammunition and eventually they also manufactured guns and leather goods until WW II.

In Feb 1903 G.Genschow purchased the larger “Badische Sprengkapsel, Zündhütchen und Munitionsfabrick E.SCHREINER” at Durlach from BASSE and SELVE. This factory was formed in 1897 by Ernst Schreiner. Initially only primers were produced there. Gustav Genschow & Co now becomes GUSTAV GENSCHOW & Co, AG - a type of corporation. They expand the plant and now have the capability of manufacturing considerable ammunition.

In May 1903 Genschow changes the name of the “Badische Sprengkapsel, Zündhütchen und Munitionsfabrick E.SCHREINER” to “Durlacher Zündhütchen und Patronenfabrick GmbH, Durlach I/Bd”. In 1904 the “Badischen Schrot und Gewehrpfropfenfabrik GmbH” and “Durlacher Zündhütchen und Patronenfabrick GmbH” are amalgamated to form the “Badischen Munitionsfabrik GmbH” at Durlach. That company used a " B.M. D" hs.

In 1906 the “Badischen Munitionsfabrik GmbH” is merged fully into GUSTAV GENSCHOW & Co and a Cologne branch is also established. In 1908 a Hamburg branch is established.

Exactly how much ammunition Genschow produced at this stage is unknown but about then Genschow started to produce ammunition using the early “GG&Co” and “G G C” hs. A 1908 Genschow catalog shows no “Geco” tradename or “Geco” ammunition, just Egestorff, Utendoerffer (RWS), DWM and Savage.

In 1907 GUSTAV GENSCHOW & Co becomes a joint-stock company and is known as GUSTAV GENSCHOW & Co AG. The company then progressively expands:
-1908 an export department is opened in Hamburg.
-1912 a subsidary GUSTAV GENSCHOW & Co GmbH was formed in Vienna. This became an independent company known as Gustav Genschow “NOBEL” GmbH, Vienna and existed until 2005 when it became part of Ruag.
-1920 a Buenos Aires agency is established in Argentina (becomes 'Geco Compania Industria Comercial S.A." in 1924),
-1921 Konigsberg branch and sales departments at Franckurt-am-Main and Nuremburg,
-1922 Leather/canvas goods factory in Westerwald,
-1923 agencies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (becomes 'Sociedade Geco Limitida" in 1925) and Valparaiso, Chile (becomes Compania Geco Limitada" in 1930).
-1924 : The company acquired the Inventory of DWA.

From the Erfurt Conference of 1909, Genschow was allocated the “D” letter for their hs representing production at their “Durlach” factory.

The trademark “GECO” was registered by G. Genschow in 1922 but had been used since 1919 (eg M1919 Geco Sporting Rifle).

In 1927 I.G. Farbenindustrie puchased Genschow and RWS. A working agreement with RWS was formed and from that time, (handgun) ammunition production from both companies was practically identical and may have been produced in the same factory - prob GECO. Some 1930 Geco packets exist contained cartridges with RWS hs.

Offices at Berlin were kept until at least 1933 and in 1934 they moved to Hamburg. Gustuv Genschow died in 1940.

After WW2 in 1959 all shares were taken over by Dynamit Nobel A.G (DN) and in 1962 the company was renamed DYNAMIT-NOBEL-GENSCHOW GmbH. Dynamit Nobel continued to produce pistol ammunition with a ‘GECO’ hs.

In 1963 ownershop of the company is tranferred to Dynamit Nobel AG. The plant is finally closed in 1972 and dismantled in the following years.

From April 2002, the Swiss ammunition manufacturer RUAG Munition and Dynamit Nobel AmmoTec in Germany merged their ammunition businesses and formed the RUAG Ammotec company. They took over Dynamit Nobel RWS ammunition and the “GECO” tradename was still used after time on ammunition.

Some time shortly after 2002, the use of the “Geco” hs sporting rifle ammunition in the commoner calibres began to reappear - note the lowercase letters. These cases are believed to have been produced by Norma which had also been taken over by Ruag Ammotech AG in 2002.

From January 2005 Gustav Genschow “Nobel” (the Austrian branch) is renamed RUAG Ammotec Austria, now also part of the Ruag conglomeration.

Brad, thank you very much for sharing the updated company history. This trademark must have been filled in Germany some years before, since the one I shown above is the US registration. At this same date Gustav Genschow also filled a trademark for his famous “eichblatt” (oak leaf) logo and claimed use since 1908.

The “Geco” trademark with “eco” inside the big “G” was also used at least since 1919 but it seems it wasn’t applied in US. Another variation showing the words “Ge co” below the oak leaf was shown in their July 1921 export price list.


This trademark must have been filled in Germany some years before, since the one I shown above is the US registration. At this same date Gustav Genschow also filled a trademark for his famous “eichblatt” (oak leaf) logo and claimed use since 1908.

The trademark Geco was filled in Germany only a few days before

the trademark Eichblatt (and its variations) was indeed filled in 1908

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